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The most delicious Leftover Turkey Stew. Ever. (Seriously.)

I beg you- do not make Leftover Turkey Casserole ever Again.

A closeup pic of Creamy Leftover Turkey Stew in a red and black painted Native American bowl.
Leftover Turkey Stew

This easy, creamy, Leftover Turkey Stew will become your new “go-to” recipe for leftover Thanksgiving turkey meat. My family loved this leftover turkey stew so much I made a second batch the very next day! Paired with some great dinner rolls, this stew will be hoovered up by all. Say goodbye to dry turkey leftovers sitting in your fridge! This recipe is super simple and easy to follow. It’s amazing to me how chicken broth, fresh herbs, and cream can give dry, leftover turkey brand new life!

Creamy Leftover Turkey Stew tastes better than Thanksgiving dinner.

Somehow, every fall, we end up with not one, not two, but THREE frozen turkeys to cook for Thanksgiving. Do I cook all of them at the same time? Hekkin’ no way! I can’t stand dry turkey, and we could never eat that much at once. But my family loves this recipe for Creamy Leftover Turkey Stew sooooo much that they buy extra frozen turkeys so that I can make lots and lots and lots of stew all winter long. It’s that good.

This recipe is even better when made with turkey meat that is moist and flavorful. I like to brine, then butterfly my turkey to help it roast faster and more evenly. My other favorite way is to brine then smoke our turkey on our pellet grill.

What to do with leftover Turkey Breast?

Cooked turkey breast will last in the refrigerator for 3 days. If you have brined your turkey, it will last longer, about 4-5 days, as the salt helps to inhibit bacteria growth. Cooked Turkey properly stored in a freezer will last up to 6 months. Be sure to press as much air out of the freezer bags as possible to avoid freezer burn ice crystals from forming on the meat. Also, it’s a great idea to shred that meat first before freezing. It will thaw out more quickly. I throw big chunks of meat into my KitchenAid stand mixer with the paddle attachment and it shreds meat like a pro kitchen appliance should!

Browning = flavor. Don’t forget it! Important cooking lesson right there. Taking time to cook the onion and celery in butter until it begins to brown will build in some great flavors for creamy leftover turkey stew. Also adding in the garlic 30 seconds before adding the broth will ‘bloom’ its flavor and get rid of raw garlic taste. When adding in the liquids, be sure to scrape all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan up into the broth as well.

Don’t have a Dutch oven? Le Creuset Dutch ovens are the best enamel-coated dutch ovens on the market. Make the investment in one. It will be an heirloom to pass down to your kids, and if you ask me, worth every penny.


If the budget won’t allow for a Le Creuset just yet, I recommend this 7 Quart enamel-coated Tramontina dutch oven for starters; it does the job nicely for this recipe.

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Creamy Leftover Turkey Stew- The Goldilocks Kitchen

Once you’ve added the broth, add cream, potatoes, and freshly chopped herbs (if possible, but subbing in dried is ok too). Cook covered, for about 10 minutes, then add in thinly sliced carrots. Cook for another 5-8 minutes until the carrots are soft and remove from heat. Season to taste, stir in your shredded leftover turkey and some fresh parsley, and get ready to chow down on some Creamy Leftover Turkey Stew goodness!

Creamy Leftover Turkey stew- The Goldilocks Kitchen

This hearty, creamy stew is so savory and delicious, you’ll wonder where this recipe for leftover turkey has been all your life! I hope you and your family thoroughly enjoy it.

You know what else is fantastic? Simply giving this recipe a star rating and a comment below! Your comments and ratings are greatly appreciated by me AND the Google algorithm. Thank you!

Did you know I have a full-color cookbook with lots more easy and delicious New Mexican recipes? You can learn more about it here!

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Creamy Leftover Turkey Stew


5 from 9 reviews

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 810 Servings 1x

Description

You’ll enjoy this creamy leftover turkey stew more than the turkey dinner! Fresh herbs, veggies, potatoes, cream and chicken broth resurrect dry leftover turkey into something truly amazing. 

Support The Goldilocks Kitchen by simply giving this recipe a comment and star rating in the comments section below; your comments and ratings are greatly appreciated by me AND the Google algorithm. Thanks for your support!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 and 1/2 cups half and half
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups shredded leftover turkey meat
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

In a large dutch oven, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onion and celery and season with a pinch of salt. Saute for about 2 minutes, then stir in the flour and cook for one minute.Pour in the broth, half and half, potatoes, sage, thyme, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the carrots and simmer for 7 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Stir in the turkey and remove from heat. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Doubling instructions: (I highly recommend doubling this recipe, especially if you have a lot of leftovers.) 

Cook the onion and celery (in the butter) in a 12 inch deep-sided skillet so the onion can properly brown. While that’s cooking, fill a large stock pot with the chicken broth, half and half, fresh herbs and potatoes and set over medium high heat. After cooking the flour into the onion and celery, empty into the stock pot and whisk it in. Bring to a boil, cover, and follow the rest of the recipe as written.

 

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 310
  • Sugar: 3.1 g
  • Sodium: 785 mg
  • Fat: 12.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22.1 g
  • Fiber: 3.2 g
  • Protein: 26.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 77 mg
You'll enjoy this creamy leftover turkey stew more than the turkey dinner! Fresh herbs, veggies, potatoes, cream and chicken broth resurrect dry leftover turkey into something truly amazing. 

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26 Comments

  1. I cannot wait to make this soup. Even though it is the end of April, I still want soup for lunch. I have turkey in the freezer and everything to make this. Thanks for sharing. It looks delicious.

    1. Hi Debbie!
      This soup is absolutely delicious and definitely a fav with my own family. I keep frozen turkey handy so I can make it often. You won’t regret it :0) Thanks for the comment!

  2. Just finished this stew and it was delicious! Didn’t follow the recipe to a tee as I had a larger quantity of stock already made, and didn’t have any thyme so I used a mix of sage and herbs de Provence instead. Even my 8 year old wanted seconds! Will keep this one in my back pocket for the next turkey dinner 😉

    1. That is fabulous Sarah! It’s wonderful to hear about your experience and that you had success with the herb substitution. My kids hoover up this stew too. Thanks for the feedback!

    1. I don’t think this stew will freeze well. Potatoes have a habit of turning to mush when reheated from frozen. Also the cream will likely separate upon reheating as well. You may get decent results if you cook up a batch specifically to freeze; in this case leave out the cream and undercook the vegetables and potatoes (maybe cook them for just 5-7 minutes??). Stir cream in after you’ve reheated the stew. I’ve never tried this myself and would love to hear about the results if you do. Thanks for the great question Robin!

  3. I made this in the instant pot tonight and it was a huge hit, Thank you!!

    1. Yay Christine, that is awesome! First time I’ve heard of anyone trying this recipe in an instant pot. I have got to get one of those things…
      Thanks for sharing, I love it :0)

    1. Hi Kristina! You could totally cook this in a slow cooker- but I would recommend you stir in the half and half and turkey after it’s done cooking. The half and half may scorch, and yes the leftover cooked turkey meat can get tough if cooked to long. That’s why it’s stirred in at the end just to warm up. Hope that helps!

  4. I love this soup! It is very flavourful and something about it reminds me of when I was younger and my mom made Chicken on the bun for dinner… it is so creamy. We have a large family and it was eaten up by everyone even the two year olds. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!! (I followed it exactly except had to use dried herbs instead of fresh and did cut up all the ingredients very small…)

    1. Hi Amanda!
      This is one of my family’s all-time favorite recipes and I always end up making several batches between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m glad you liked it so much!

  5. Made this for the first time last night – and this was HANDS DOWN, the BEST turkey stew I have ever had in my life! The whole family loved it! This recipe is definitely a keeper:) Thank you!

  6. Tried this after Canadian thanksgiving. Adjusted the veggies to ones I had in the house, great recipe!

  7. Thank you so much for this recipe! I just made this after our Canadian Thanksgiving. I included chopped garlic and the leftover gravy.
    Also, I didn’t have enough carrots so I threw in some parsnips.
    Absolutely delicious!

  8. Yes, this is a really good recipe even though I skipped the half n half and added peas. It’s scrumptious.

  9. Luckily I had all the ingredients, except for half & half, so I used heavy cream instead. Then, I followed the directions and in 40 mins and wala! I had one of the most delicious meals ever made by me and my whole family loved it, though I did double the recipe. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  10. This is the best turkey stew I’ve ever had, and it has taken up a permanent place in my ‘favourite recipe’ binder. I make it exactly as it’s written (except I use whichever potato I have on hand and it’s perfect every time.

    I’ve frozen it, and yeah, there’s a bit of separation with the cream, but mostly it holds together well still (the flour and other ingredients probably help with that). When I freeze, I use a firmer potato than russet, and they don’t crumble as much when thawed (though they still will a bit). If you’re looking for perfection. don’t freeze it. But if you’re looking for different recipes to use up pounds and pounds of leftover turkey and don’t care if it’s a bit imperfect after thawing, this is still a great recipe to use.

    1. Wow Caroline! Thank you so much for the feedback, and for sharing how you freeze this delicous stew. Switching out the Russets for say Yukon golds or even red potatoes is exactly what to do when freezing cooked potatoes. Less starch is those will equal less mushiness when thawed. I’m so glad you love it!

  11. Delicious! Didn’t have fresh herbs but used dried 1/2 the amount in the recipe. Added some fresh mushrooms and a cup of frozen thawed peas. Will make again.

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